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Smackdown - May 23, 2014

Date: May 23, 2014
Location: 02 Arena, London, England
Commentators: Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It's the second straight show in this building as we wrap up the European tour. As is usually the case with Smackdown, this is just a holding show until we get back to America to find out what happens to Bryan and the title. Other than that we're likely to get a bit more on the Shield vs. Evolution match as we're closing in on their showdown at Payback. Let's get to it.

Opening sequence.

We open with Jimmy Hart, introducing Hogan to a WWE ring in England for the first time in over 20 years. Hogan says it's great to be back here like in the old days. Speaking of the old days, Hogan talks about Jimmy not being the same since he started living in the Legends House. Hogan explains the show and lists off the bigger names in the cast. That's about the past though and Hogan wants to look towards the future. The WWE Network is coming to the some point in the future. We're already on the road to Wrestlemania XXXI and that's about it.

We look at Shield vs. Evolution over the last few months.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Batista

No DQ after Batista hit Ziggler low last week. Ziggler nails a dropkick to start and chokes Batista on the apron. Big Dave comes back with a huge spinebuster for two and Ziggler is already in trouble. The first weapon is brought in as Batista gets a chair but Ziggler takes it away. That's fine with Batista as he sends Dolph into the announce table and apron. Dolph sidesteps a charging Animal to send him into the barricade before clotheslining Batista into the timekeeper's area.

We take a break and come back with Batista hitting the post with a chair. Dolph picks up the chair and blasts Dave in the back a few times to take over. Batista tries to walk away but gets forearmed in the back of the head and sent into the steps. Good brawl so far. Back in and Ziggler hammers away in the corner, making sure to wrap Batista's arm around the ropes so he can't hit Dolph low like he did last week. Nice job with the continuity.

Ziggler rolls through the spinebuster into a sunset flip and the Fameasser gets two. A baseball slide knocks Batista over the announce table and the announcers get knocked out. JBL: “Michael quit loafing on the job! Just because you got hit by everything!” Batista reverses a whip into the steps and slams Ziggler down onto the steps. Ziggler uses a low blow of his own to counter a Batista Bomb onto the steps but misses a running Fameasser off the apron onto the steps. Dolph's knee is hurt so Batista throws him back in and nails the spear for the pin at 12:00.

Rating: B+. This was really good stuff with Ziggler being more than game against Batista. It's amazing how different Ziggler is on the two shows. On Raw he can barely survive five minutes against Mark Henry but here he's going toe to toe with Batista for a long TV match. The psychology was good here too and the power vs. speed formula was solid. I've always liked these two together and this was no exception.

Batista powerbombs Ziggler post match.

Bolieve! Tonight.

Nikki Bella/Eva Marie vs. Funkadactyls

Summer Rae is guest referee for the Total Divas special and is looking very good in the outfit. Nikki takes Naomi down with an armdrag to start as Cole tries to explain the stories on Total Divas. A facebuster puts Naomi down but Summer won't count at all. The Funkadactyls hit a double suplex and a double split legdrop before Cameron is in on her own to no reaction. Off to Eva whose outfit matches her partner. Summer still won't count, allowing Cameron to roll Eva up for a count that would make evil Teddy Long jealous and the pin at 1:58.

Eva glares at Summer post match.

Clip from the breast cancer rally with John Cena in attendance.

Bo Dallas vs. Sin Cara

Bo kneels in prayer before the match which JBL makes sure to point out. Before the match he talks about how we can all achieve our dreams if we just Bolieve. A quick armdrag puts Cara down and he jumps around in a circle to celebrate. They trade arm work with Dallas' armbar being quickly broken. Dallas drives a knee into Cara's face and a second one into the ribs. Sin Cara comes back with a flying headbutt and a springboard middle rope cross body. A Tajiri elbow gets two on Bo and a kick to the face drops him as well. Dallas avoids the Swanton and walks the corner for a bulldog and the pin at 3:35.

Rating: D+. Dallas isn't great in the ring but he's all mic work and character anyway. If they let him do stuff like he did in NXT and cut those WAY over the top promos he'll have people booing him out of the building (in a good way) by the end of the summer. Good debut here but the promos are the key to his character.

Post match Bo helps Sin Cara up. “Keep trying. Maybe someday you can be like ME!”

We've got Wyatts in the ring. Bray says he's seen the ups and downs of our world such as poverty and disease. When he closes his eyes he can hear us calling out to him. Most of us never have to see those horrible things, or only from our homes as we eat a bowl of cereal. Evil is real, even though we live in a bubble that is meant to be our home. We have become prisoners to society because that is what they want.

As soon as eyebrows are raised, someone like John Cena is sent in to be our hope and tell us that everything is going to be afraid. It's our home and not a prison he says. Bray thinks Cena has lied to our children long enough. That's why he's been put here. Come gather around children and let's have a look. We see a clip of the Family destroying Cena to end Raw. Back live and Bray says the Cenation has infected us like the Plague.

A simple ten count will get rid of everything Cena stands for and that's why Cena has recruited the Usos to be his new pawns. They'll be thrown on the front lines so Cena's crown doesn't get too dirty. Tonight Bray's brothers will show the Usos that a beast that does not fear cannot be tamed. There are worse things in the world than dying. When your city burned, Bray was there. When your lives crumble, Bray was there. And when John Cena falls, Bray will be there. Bray says he's always been and starts speaking in tongues. He drops to his knees and starts singing the song.

Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio

Non-title with Cesaro and Heyman on commentary. The bell rings and Cesaro offers to shake Sheamus' hand, allowing Del Rio to get in a cheap shot from behind. Heyman and Cole argue over what language Cesaro should speak on commentary as Sheamus hammers away in the corner. Del Rio comes back with a snapmare and low dropkick for one. Cesaro speaks all of his other languages as Sheamus comes back with a knee drop for a near fall of his own.

The rolling fireman's carry and a clothesline put Del Rio on the floor as the announcers are talking about Jack Benny. Del Rio comes back with a wicked running enziguri on the floor to take over. Back from a break with Del Rio being sent to the apron but snapping Sheamus' throat across the top rope. Sheamus comes back with a knee in the corner but a Backstabber gets two for Del Rio.

The Irish Curse gets the same for Sheamus but both guys miss their finishers. A low superkick gets two on the champion but Del Rio misses a charge and gets caught by the ten forearms to the chest. Back in and Alberto grabs the armbreaker but Sheamus gets his feet in the ropes. Cesaro goes after Sheamus and gets kicked in the face. He interferes again and that's a DQ at 9:31.

Rating: C. I really don't get why Del Rio couldn't take a fall here. The match was fine for the most part and one of their better matches, likely due to it not having as much time. There was also a chance that Del Rio could win a non-title match as opposed to beating Sheamus to become World Champion.

Cesaro Neutralizes Sheamus on the floor. Heyman claims self-defense.

We look back at Raw to see Stephanie demand that Bryan vacate the title next week.

Here's Vickie Guerrero with something to say. She says people only know one side of her because she has great personal skills and is straight up gorgeous. She can also party with the best of them, so please welcome Adam Rose. JBL: “DON'T DO IT VICKIE! We need Glenn Close to get rid of that bunny!”

Vickie snaps her fingers to the music and smiles a lot. Rose has a very important question for Vickie: is she a lemon or a rosebud? The fans think Vickie is a lemon and a YES chant starts up to confirm it. Vickie tells him to get out but Rose tries to give her his lollipop. Rose scares her enough that she falls off the apron and is carried off by the party.

The Usos talk about Adam Rose for a bit before saying unlike the Wyatts, they're a real family, back to when they were baby Usos playing in the sandbox. They bring in their brother from another mother, John Cena. Cena sounds like he's imitating various people's promos, such as Hawk (WELLLLL) and Hogan (“Let you tell me something brother”. Yes I meant to type it that way) and is a bit off at the same time.

He has some things he needs to put on his chest and he knows who makes the pants around here. Listen to him when he's watching you because it's time to put the dinner to bed and go hunting for babies. Jey: “We have no idea what you're talking about.” Cena: “Maybe I do or maybe I do.” The point is anyone can talk but actions speak louder than words. They do that weird chest pounding thing as they walk away.

Usos vs. Wyatt Family

Non-title with Cena and Bray as seconds. Harper stands there with the blank look on his face so Jey shouts at him. Luke takes him into the corner but the Usos make a blind tag, allowing Jey to kick Harper into a sunset flip for two. Rowan comes in but gets chopped up against the ropes. The Usos make more tags to double team Rowan and Jey cross bodies him out to the floor as we take a break.

Back with Jimmy dropkicking Rowan down and stomping away but Erick easily fights back and brings in Harper. Luke gets kicked in the ribs but sidesteps a charging Jimmy to send him throat first into the middle rope. Back to Rowan for the knuckle skull crush as the fans are singing the song. Harper comes in again as the announcers argue over whether Bray said he was evil or not.

A superplex attempt is countered and Jimmy nails a Whisper in the Wind, allowing for the hot tag to Jey. Everything breaks down and Jey hits the running Umaga attack in the corner but gets kicked in the face by Harper. Harper goes to the floor and gets taken down by the suicide dive. Jey dives over the post to take out his brother and Harper at the same time. Back in and Jey loads up the Superfly Splash but Bray shoves him off the top for the DQ at 10:05.

Rating: C-. The match wasn't bad but the DQ endings are getting annoying in a hurry. This does leave the door open for a rematch though and the titles can be on the line. It's a power vs. speed match so I can't complain all that much. I can't imagine the rematch doesn't take place at Payback.

Cena gives Rowan an AA and stares down Wyatt. Bray teases getting in but backs off to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was the night of long matches but unfortunately two of them had weak finishes. The tag match I can excuse as it's there to set up a rematch, but I see no reason why Del Rio couldn't take a fall and have Cesaro do the same stuff after the match. Other than that the show wasn't bad and advanced the stories for Payback. As awesome as it is, it's kind of nice to get a breather from the Shield vs. Evolution feud for a night too.

Batista b. Dolph Ziggler – Spear
Funkadactyls b. Nikki Bella/Eva Marie – Rollup to Eva
Bo Dallas b. Sin Cara – Corner bulldog
Sheamus b. Alberto Del Rio via disqualification when Cesaro interfered
Usos b. Wyatt Family via DQ when Bray Wyatt interfered

Remember to pick up my new book on the History of Survivor Series from Amazon for under $4 at:

And check out my Amazon author page with a bunch of other wrestling books at:


  1. I agree on pretty much all your ratings tonight. It was a pretty good show. Ziggler vs. Batista was awesome.

  2. I watched Smackdown for the first time in about 10 years because of Bo Dallas and JBL won't shut the hell up. He needs to get buttfucked by a rhino horn.

  3. kbwrestlingreviewsMay 23, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    There's no substitute for chemistry.

  4. Already ordered the book, and have all the other ones too. I think they are pretty good reads.

  5. kbwrestlingreviewsMay 23, 2014 at 8:39 PM

    Much appreciated. Thank you very much and I hope you like it.

  6. I know Wyatt's promos are more about mood/tone rather than content, but how does "A simple ten count will get rid of everything Cena stands for" make sense? Cena just lost a cage match to the voiced kid, so why would losing a Last Man Standing match be any different? And at Wrestlemania, wasn't Wyatt trying to get Cena to embrace the hate and use the chair, but now getting counted down/out is what will destroy Cena and his message/fan support?

  7. Always enjoy the reviews, sir.

  8. kbwrestlingreviewsMay 23, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    Much appreciated.

  9. As long as Bo remembers to pop up and feed comebacks, he'll make a lot of money.


  11. So Bo Dallas is like Tim Tebow?

  12. Well, I'm a Boliever.

  13. If they don't give Dallas a backstage segment each week they are nuts.

  14. If they put up every Raw I am getting the network tomorrow.

  15. Where was the biggest wrestler in the wwe today? The big show? The real main event.

  16. Don't sugarcoat it, tell us how you really feel.

  17. I like how Cole tries to act badass after saying that and it seems Vince probably shouted at him because Cole acts pretty sheepish afterwards. I think that's the reason why Vince probably likes Cole better than JR, he can bully Cole easier.

  18. I got excited, too. He meant this year. I still don't understand why they can't show Raw on something like an eight day delay or something. If you want to watch it live, it isn't like having the option to watch it eight days later is going to change your mind.

  19. Eh...JR is pretty easy to bully.

  20. House shows to help cover the lack of Bryan, I think.

  21. Because wrestling.

  22. Shouldn't the same crowds who hate Cena also hate Hogan?
    Ziggler was on-point for this show. Hopefully it's a sign that they're done punishing him and will move him up the card. Ziggler can help fill the babyface void that'll be left with Bryan gone. As badly as he's been booked, the crowd is still into him; he could easily step into a feud with an upper-card heel like Orton, Cesaro, Kane or Barrett this summer.
    No complaints about Bo Dallas. I'm interested to see where they go with him after he runs through the obligatory jobbers (Sin Cara, X-Woods, Ryder, etc.). Put Dallas in a feud with Cody Rhodes and have his "encouragement" be the thing that finally frustrates Cody into snapping and going heel.

  23. Seems like they should go ahead and add Usos vs. Harper/Rowan for the tag team titles to the Payback card.

  24. Not a bad idea. I like J&J, but it's time the Wyatts followed the buzzards to some gold.

  25. Because WCW. Oh, wait...

  26. I'd have the Usos retain. Make it a DQ if you don't want the Wyatts to lose, but it makes sense if the Wyatts lose without Bray there coaching them. Plus, the belts do more for the Usos than they would for the Wyatts.

  27. What I take away from this is that the horrible shittiness of the commentary is not Cole's fault. Even HE knows he's coming off as overbearing and obnoxious, but that's what Vince wants.

  28. because contracts.

  29. you mean he "could" help filling the babyface void. because him actually being put into that position would require the company wanting to get behind him again.

  30. Oh, fuck me.

  31. Jesus christ...Fuck!

  32. They're in the UK they have a total filler show as per usual for Smackdown and DIDN'T use BNB? A two min segment would of done the job!

  33. Hey Wade, we've got some BAD NEWS for you!

  34. I substituted biology for chemistry in high school.

  35. Yeah, I'm sure. I guess I meant I wish they would work it into their tv deal so that they could.

  36. History repeating itself.

  37. One 17 year old in the BrazilianKid though, but it's ok, he dropped the N-bomb once.

  38. Yeah, all JR's ever done was gotten snippy with fans online who defended him.


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